Polly P. is one of the best women AA speakers you will ever hear. In this share, the talks about emotional sobriety and how she was able to navigate trials and low spots in her early recovery, by thinking of others and taking action.
I am they type of person who it is normal for me is to be depressed. I really struggle with it. I cannot get out of my bed. I’m the type of person who takes some kind of funny tranquilizer. I’m naturally the type of person who goes to some doctor to give me something, because I cannot live inside my skin. That’s normal for me. I cannot function. I am a person who will go after my own arms because it feels better to feel physical pain than emotional pain. However, because of a program called Alcoholics Anonymous I have the greatest life you could possibly imagine. It happened because I was humble enough to do all the things I knew wouldn’t work. If somebody comes up to you and they say to you, “We’re here we’re going to love you,” always listen to that, because that’s true. Here in AA, we’re going to love you until you can love yourself. If you do not think you are lovable, you better run like heck, because we are going to bring you into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and we’re going to love you!
The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous talks about constantly thinking of others. I didn’t think it would work either. Well, I knew it wouldn’t work. But what I was told to do was to get busy in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. People said, “I hope you have a car so you can go pick up people and bring them to AA. It is service work.” That was a wonderful time, as we were driving around to every halfway house and hauling them to meetings, we would go to the prisons too. That is a kind of first step. Just get in the car. We were hauling these women around and the motto was, “Go share something with somebody else.” This really helped me out with my depression. I don’t know if you suffer from depression, but I do. One of our co-founders suffered from depression. You want to know how not to suffer from depression? Pick up an AA approved literature called “The Language of the Heart” and read Bill W.’s last letter to The Grapevine called, “A New Frontier: Emotional Sobriety.”
Today I know the more I work with you, the better I feel. Today I know how to have self-esteem; by doing something that warrants self-esteem. In that article, he talks about usefulness. Finally I know usefulness today. Back when I was newly sober, I just started doing the deal, I started taking the steps, and I started being active in the rooms. I still do all of these things today, twenty five years later; exactly what I did those many years ago. It’s not anything different. I do the same stuff; I mean exactly the same stuff. Many times somebody calls me, and it’s a newcomer, so that means we’re going to have to sit down with the book and this is going to take a lot of time. To be honest, my attitude is not always as good as I would like it to be and sometimes I lack enthusiasm. This is very natural. But I love what Clancy says, he just says, “Take actions contrary to the way you feel. We don’t care how you feel about it, just do it.”